Date of the discovery: 14 March 2018

Short Description: Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) was thought to be a type of aurora not observed before. It turned out not to be an aurora, but an atmospheric phenomenon. It has a purple colour and is a long band. It is thought to be associated with the subauroral ion drift (SAID). The ESA Swarm mission studied STEVE by flying one of the satellites through it. The original name, STEVE, by volunteers comes from the movie “Over the Hedge”, where one character is not sure what he sees, so he names it “Steve”.

Volunteer(s): facebook group “Alberta Aurora Chasers”; co-authors of the paper: Notanee Bourassa, Chris Ratzlaff

Researchers in the discovery paper: Elizabeth A. MacDonald, Eric Donovan, Yukitoshi Nishimura, Nathan A. Case, D. Megan Gillies, Bea Gallardo-Lacourt, William E. Archer, Emma L. Spanswick, Notanee Bourassa, Martin Connors, Matthew Heavner, Brian Jackel, Burcu Kosar, David J. Knudsen, Chris Ratzlaff and Ian Schofield

Link to paper in ADS:….4…30M/abstract

Equipment, Satellites: Nikon D810 camera, University of Calgary all-sky imagers (ASIs), meridian scanning photometers (MSPs), Redline Emission Geospace Observatory (REGO)

Video with different exposures showning STEVE aurorae

Other pages:

ESA press release:

project website with more information: AURORASAURUS

Credit for the header image: McDonald et al. 2018 Figure 1

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